FETCH THE BOLT CUTTERS – FIONA APPLE (Alternative/Indie)
Rating – “It’s great” / worth adding to your collection.
According to recent “New Yorker” article, “Fetch the Bolt Cutters” is a reference to a scene in “The Fall,” the British police procedural starring Gillian Anderson as a sex-crimes investigator; Anderson’s character calls out the phrase after finding a locked door to a room where a girl has been tortured. This theme of crimes against women, men in power and femininity appears throughout the whole album. Like all of Apple’s projects, this one was taking a long while to emerge, arriving through a slow-drip process of creative self-interrogation that has produced, over a quarter century, a narrow but deep songbook. But that time surely helped Fiona in the direction of the album, since in between all those years she kept quiet, big movements like The #Metoo Movement has shaped the entertainment industry.
Fiona Apple has been in the business for 25 years now, but this is only her fifth full length album. And while she has always worked under a male producer in her early career, this is her first album that she has produced herself and she has made to let it all loose. Musically, this is easily the craziest and most bonkers production on an album I have heard this year. And unless you can find another song from this year that features a dog’s bones as percussion, I’ll have to say that my claim is right. It has some of the most innovative sonic directions on a recent EP, even considering Fiona’s standards. For example the title track – Fetch the Bolt Cutters – features a dog’s barking noise as bass and Fiona’s orgasmic noises in the outro, Also on the opening track – I Want You to Love Me – the singer hiccups in ecstasy, facing off against an arpeggiating piano as though competing to climax first. And the piano in here is a masterpiece in itself, but that’s obvious, given Fiona’s reputation as pianist.
Lyrically too, Fiona is taking a lot of shots in this album. Just like the Strokes album from last week (another artist making a comeback this year), there’s a lot of looking back in this albums. Fiona looks back at her childhood in New York, growing up as a musical prodigy and getting fame at an early age of 17 in the uneasy times of 90’s. Men in power who who use women for their benefits and sexual predators are definitely are the first target of Fiona. And even though the music behind the song is overblown, Fiona doesn’t compensate on the lyrics, the songs here are very wordy, even more than they’ve ever been. What set’s the lyrics in this project apart, is that even though it’s dealing with such heavy subjects – they are funny as hell. But that’s not all in here, Fiona talks about past relationships, bad boyfriends, her younger self and even takes shots at high society culture. In fact major her own mind and trying to figure herself out by glancing at the past is one of the major themes. “I would beg to disagree, but begging disagrees with me,” she swaggers on Under the Table, a wickedly funny song about how she is a nightmare date at pompous dinner parties. (“Kick me under the table all you want.”)
Fav Tracks – I Want You to Love Me/ Shameika/ Fetch the Bolt Cutters/ Under The Table/ Newspaper/ Ladies/ Drumset/ On I go/ Cosmonauts/ Rack of life/
Least Fav Track – Heavy Baloon
In conclusion, all I want to say is this it is a really good album that doesn’t fear to take any risks and even if you are not into R&B or indie music, you should definitely give this album a listen. I mean it’s not like you have much else to do right now. Trust me, give it a try and maybe you will be able to appreciate all it’s weirdness too.
And meanwhile, do let me know what you thought about the album in the comments!